The following questions and answers provide frequently-interested information on a range of topics related to clothing & footwear recycling and the role of RECYCOM
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When we talk about clothing recycling do we mean waste management?
The impression that recycling = waste management is wrong! for clothes as well as for other materials. It is emphasized from the beginning that if we want to protect the environment and preserve the planet’s resources, it is very important:
To reduce consumption (buying new clothes) to a minimum.
To properly manage clothes that cannot be worn again. Instead of burying or burning these clothes and shoes, we turn them into useful materials. Landfilling is a last resort and should be treated as such.
To promote reuse. The clothes we throw away are very useful for others. Giving a used piece of clothing to another person, while it still has life, not only prevents it from being thrown in the trash, but also prevents the production of new similar clothing, thereby saving resources and energy.
Why should clothes be sent abroad and not recycled in Greece?
A proper and complete clothing recycling chain cannot but include the management of clothing that cannot be reused. This management is better done in the country itself, since shipping abroad causes a burden on the environment such as energy consumption, etc. The creation of clothing recycling factories in Greece is a big issue, since the high cost makes the whole venture very difficult. Until this solution is offered locally, shipping overseas is inevitable and is certainly more economical and environmentally sound than landfilling.
Why not give the “good” clothes to vulnerable groups, and the useless ones to RECYCOM?
Any action that involves reusing clothes is better than throwing them in the landfill. Even more, when the clothes are given to those who really need them. RECYCOM did not come to replace the philanthropy of ordinary people, the church and other organizations. However, RECYCOM cannot become a waste manager, because it will simply go bankrupt. Clothes that can be reused have value. This value is the source of income that will allow RECYCOM to cover the large costs of the recycling program (construction of metal red recycling bins, storage rents, jobs, transport, etc.) and to expand, gradually, throughout Greece.
Since clothing is recycled why don’t you accept unpaired shoes, scraps of clothing etc?
The costs of recycling, especially when it is not done locally, are so high that they make it unprofitable to manage them to create new useful materials. If the shoes are paired, there is a good chance they will be worn again, which is also the most environmentally friendly option. If, of course, there are unpaired shoes or scraps of clothing in the bags we receive, they are also sent for recycling.